AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A Veterans Day surprise reduced an entire elementary school in Auburn to happy, wonderful tears when a father reunited with his two sons following a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Brothers Beck and Miles Bernstein thought they were giving a presentation on their father Airmen Brian Bernstein at Wrights Mill Road Elementary School's Veterans Day Program. They had no idea their dad had just returned home from Afghanistan.
"We were so surprised and I just went oh my and I just came running to him and hugged him and we all cried and cried and cried," Miles said.
"Out of nowhere, Daddy come out of nowhere and hugged us and we are all so excited," Beck added.
"I felt like my dad's love was coming back into me," said Miles.
"It was just like we were a family again, it was just so awesome, I felt his love too," Beck added.
"When you are deployed, you are deprived of a lot of sensation, limited to the things you touch, smell and see," explained Brian, who is with the 187th Fighter Wing out of Montgomery. "I think that was my first instinct was to touch their hair, it's so soft, they are still little boys and put my hands on them, sometime I have been deprived of for these months."
The family decided to spend the rest of the beautiful fall day playing Frisbee.
"That is one of the things I want to do is to just be able to get outside and move freely around you can't do that over there and play Frisbee with them, play baseball, just cut up with them," Brian said.
This Veterans Day will always be a special one for the Bernstein family, and their surprise reunion is even sweeter as they remember all of the dads and moms, sons and daughters who are not with their families because they are fighting for our freedoms.
"Our military members, we sacrifice a lot, but a lot of the credit goes to our family members who stay behind," Brian said. "I think people don't realize how much they sacrifice."
"Thank you soldiers for your service to our country," Beck added.
"Thank you all, thank you so much," added Miles.
Miles and Beck enjoyed watching stories online of moms and dads returning home from deployments and surprising their kids.
The videos provided them with comfort and hope, and now they have a surprise homecoming video of their own to enjoy.